From the Department of Peaceful Religions: Palestinians gunmen killed four people in Tel Aviv's market, and the House of Saud killed 500 children in Yemen. But in good news the UN has decided the House of Saud is not a human rights abuser. Huh? Newspeak strikes again. Leave the UN today!
More briefing below the fold.
In foreign news: The Chinese continue to export money from China in great gobs, they are now buying up as many German assets as they can get their hands on. It is almost as if they realize China is a Ponzi and they are trying to get as much money out of the country as possible before the collapse. This is a wise maneuver. Greg Ip has an opinion piece on in the news section, par for the course, in which he promotes the idea that what is going on in Europe is the rise of the "right." But it is not right at all, or at least not conservative at all, it is simply a form of European socialism, which is socialism, or by definition left. What these authors cannot understand is that the nationalism we see in Europe is nearly always leftist socialist nationalism, as it is today. He is correct globalism will continue regardless of this nationalism. There is huge wealth flowing into these countries from globalism. Shutting that off will make them look like Greece, and none want that. So the nationalists will have to walk a tight rope to manage the electorate, good. If they would just address the reason Europe (and America) is so moribund, excessive regulation and government interference, they could see real results.
Muhammad Ali's funeral service has become a ticketed event, Perhaps the family should put on a road show, and mine the idiots for money. This is likely the last chance for the Ali family.
Clinton has finally declared her victory in the primary, and demanded Sanders support. Sanders has not yet give this, his supporters are raucous, and demand he fight on to the convention floor. No one can say this was a boring primary fight on either side. On the Republican side, the pundits are playing a dirge for Trump claiming he cannot win, he is a racist, yada, yada, yada. Trump usually metaphorically pops one of the journalists in the mouth leaving him dazed and bloodied, while the Trump fans cheer. Pretty funny. Remind me to buy more corn, and lay in a better stock of beer. These will be the staples to understand this election. Oh, and gauze, tape, astringent, and antibacterial ointment for the media twits. Best quote of the cycle, "Damn was that a tooth? I think that was a tooth!"
In war news: ISIS continues to weaken. The foreign European fighters who traveled to Syria to fight on the side of ISIS are now crying for mommy to come rescue them. Germany cannot even recover its troops from nearby locations due to a complete lack of capable aircraft. This is one of those tragedies which are simply not very tragic. These fools chose to go, they can get home on their own. Then let the criminal charges begin.
I am old enough to remember when a private American mounted a successful rescue attempt, yes, the Perot version is wildly exciting and wildly BS, but the point is he acted, got lucky, and retrieved his employees. The European governments dither. Differences matter.
Abe in Japan has suddenly realized that Japan is dying and the only stopgap is to bring in foreign workers. He is doing a few minor changes, speeding up green cards, and allowing some small amount of skilled foreign labor. This is like filling Grand Coulee Dam with a garden hose. Good Luck!
In the most shocking news of the day, a union boss was arrested for bribery. The only real shock is that it was not your Teamsters union boss, instead it was the boss of the New York corrections officers union. Public unions are a public nuisance and should be summarily terminated. Then at the first sign of strike, they should be Patco'ed - fire them all.
The funniest news out of Europe is that banks there are just figuring out that paying someone to lend them money is stupid. Banks have decided they will just vault their money instead. Dude? Really? How long did this take you to figure out? Cue the Yakety Sax.
The House of Saud is so hard up for money, they are considering a tax on foreign workers, who fill 1/3 of all jobs. One of the only reasons people are willing to work in Saudi is the tax free status. Taxing these workers will likely cause many of them to leave or demand raises to cover the new tax costs. The result will be as always, not much change for the workers, and a new hidden tax on anyone who hires these workers. Saudi needs an economy, and addition mining of money out of the people will not really create that. Good luck Saud, you are gonna need it.
The world economy remains in the same precarious condition as when you left for Boot. South Africa can be added to the in recession category, and Nigeria has entered a full blown crisis. On the other hand India remains in stable but weak condition. China is suffering, but pumping out fraudulent data faster then I thought possible.
China has begun to take the final page out of the Japanese playbook circa 1989, it is now buying up Hollywood assets, and expertise. This is always thought to be a good move by the flush country just about to enter a crushing decadal recession. Let them drive the price up on these assets, and once they drive them into the ground and enter their decadal recession we can buy them back cheap. Worked well the last time. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Advertising is clearly shifting to digital, and next year television will account for less advertising share than digital. Media is forever changed.
Showing just how much trouble China is actually in, Adidas is bringing shoe manufacturing back to Germany with the help of robots. The cause is rising Chinese wages, the desire to limit the problems resulting from foreign production, lower robotics prices, and more capable robots. Expect this to only accelerate. The problems for China are only beginning, and the belligerence in the South China Sea and among its neighbors will not steady this ship.
The summer seasonal run up in oil prices has been very anemic, with Brent only rising to $52 bbl. If the pressure continues to mount in Saudi, and Saudi leaves its long held dollar peg, the price of oil is likely to drop to half of that number. Right now oil is being floated by the high price of the dollar, once off the dollar, the price will plummet.